North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

December 10, 2013

Fultondale council recognizes Jefferson County's emergence from bankruptcy proceedings

By Melanie Patterson
North Jefferson News

FULTONDALE — The city of Fultondale adopted a resolution Monday to recognize Jefferson County for emerging from bankruptcy this month.

“I commend them,” said Mayor Jim Lowery. “They’ve been very responsible with their spending.”

Jefferson County filed for bankruptcy in 2011, citing more than $4.2 billion in debt. At the time, it was the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history; Detroit this year filed for bankruptcy this year citing more than $18 billion in debt.

Earlier this month, Jefferson County closed the sale of almost $1.8 billion in new debt and emerged from bankruptcy.

Lowery said it is now time for the state legislature to see what it can do to help the county get the money it needs to maintain county roads and provide other services.

Also at the meeting, the council authorized Lowery to enter into an agreement with American Tower to sell the company a permanent easement for a cell phone tower.

American Tower will pay the city $225,000 for the permanent easement; it currently pays $8,500 a year to lease the site.

Councilman Joe Bolton said other city-owned public safety towers will remain at the site, which is adjacent to Fire Station No. 1. He said if the company ever decides it no longer needs the tower, it will remove it and restore the area.

In other business, the council: